|This photo is pretty old but so is Josh Howard. (AP)|
Minnesota & Josh Howard agree to terms on 1-year, vets minimum deal, sources say
The Wolves are desperate for bodies. After Wednesday night's loss to the Charlotte Bobcats on a Kemba Walker game-winner, Minnesota might have realized they just can't run with only nine healthy players and limited options on the wings. The only true wing players the Wolves have are Andrei Kirilenko, Alexey Shved and Malcolm Lee.
Lee and Shved are combo guards more than wing players, and Kirilenko has had to do everything for the team in their time of need because of injuries to teammates.
The list of injured players for the Wolves is a pretty impressive rotation of players. Kevin Love has a broken hand, Ricky Rubio is recovering from an ACL tear, JJ Barea has a sprained foot, Nikola Pekovic has a sprained ankle, Chase Budinger has a tear in his meniscus, and Brandon Roy has zero cartilage in his knees.
Pekovic, Roy, and Barea are day-to-day. Kent Youngblood of the Star Tribune reported Thursday that Roy could return for Friday's home game against the Golden State Warriors:
Roy, who missed his third consecutive game Wednesday because of soreness in his knee, plans on taking part in Thursday's practice and hopes to play in Friday's game. But there are no guarantees.
Roy, who was forced into a one-year retirement because of knee issues, admitted that any injury to the knee is distressing. But he said he's been feeling better daily and hopes to be back sooner rather than later.
"That's my goal," he said about Friday's game. "I won't say yes or no. But I would like to get out there Friday."
The Howard signing likely means Will Conroy will be waived. His contract is the only deal on the team that isn't fully guaranteed. With the Wolves already at 15 players on the roster, somebody has to go. The Wolves aren't eligible for an injury exception. For them to be granted one, Budinger would have to be out for the season or one of their other injured players would need to be out for more than two weeks.
As of now, only Love, Rubio and Budinger are out for longer than two weeks. The Wolves would need a fourth player to qualify for the exception.
Howard has been fairly injury prone the last couple seasons, playing in just 148 of a possible 312 games since 2008. Over the last two seasons, he's made just 38.6 percent of his field goal attempts and lowered his career field goal percentage to 44.8 percent. Those are all probable reasons why the 32-year old wing player was still available as a free agent.